This past summer I interned with the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office in the Felony 1 Division. Under the supervision of Assistant State’s Attorney, Donna Fenton, I worked with the attorneys to help prepare felony cases for jury trials in Montgomery County Circuit Court.
During my summer, I was fortunate enough to not only help behind the scenes, but also to witness several cases first-hand from start to finish: all the way from jury selection through to final verdict. Working in the Felony 1 Division, the cases I was working on were comprised of the most serious crimes in the county and this gave me exposure to the hard work it takes to put together these multi-day long jury trials. I had several opportunities to speak with victims and victims’ families about their experiences and see the impact of the trial through their eyes.
Over the course of the summer, I also found myself constantly pushed to think outside the box, and really hone my legal research skills in order to present my supervising attorneys with well-written and thoroughly researched motions and briefs. All of my time spent observing court proceedings was also beneficial in making personal connections with several Assistant State’s Attorneys as well as Judges, one of which I will be clerking for post-graduation. Having now spent an entire summer working full time in the State’s Attorney’s Office I am more confident than ever that I wish to become a prosecutor after I complete my judicial clerkship.
None of this work would have been possible for me this summer without the SPIL/Weissman Stipend. The stipend enabled me to work full-time, while not having to be concerned about my expenses. My summer stipend also helped to offset some of the costs of attending my internship, as gas and parking often came at a high cost in the city. As discussed above, my summer with the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office reaffirmed my desire to work in the public interest sector, but specifically as a prosecutor. I feel confident that as I begin my future career as a prosecutor I will carry the lessons learned this past summer with me, and have a better idea of the work I will be expected to do, and the standards I will be held to as I fill that role. I am forever grateful for the SPIL/Weissman Stipend and all that it does to allow students to pursue their dreams of public-interest careers without suffering financial hardship. I hope to see these stipends continue to support public-interest law students and enable them to pursue their passions as they have done for me for both of my law school summers.